Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Would it have happened if he weren't a National Guard member?

Would it have happened if he weren't a National Guard member? Probably not. But Gary Pfleider is a member of the Oregon National Guard, an Iraq War veteran and a Purple Heart recipient. Pat Dooris (KGW) reports:

The U.S. Army is demanding a 33-year-old former Oregon National Guard soldier shot in Iraq, turn in his gear or pay for it.
But Gary Pfleider said he has no idea where the gear is -- he was busy trying to survive.
Back on September 24, 2007, Pfleider sat on an open truck as it began a routine mission. Suddenly, a sniper's bullet hit his left thigh.
"I remember the sound of the bullet hitting my flesh, the smell of it, then me grabbing my grabbing my leg. After that I was out for about 16 hours," said Pfleider.

The military did a medical evacuation to a facility in Germany. During all of that, the US military's 'precious equipment' (flack vest, etc) was misplaced. Not by the injured. But that's whom the military is attempting to strong arm into paying for it. KIRO (link has text and video) explains the military is insisting that the wounded soldier pay it $3,000 and "the federal government is taking money from his disability check each month." Please note that DoD was happy to let KBR burn off trucks and other vehicles in Iraq, set 'em on fire and take a loss that the US tax payer footed the bill for. But look at how they treat the National Guard.

In what's apparently supposed to make everything better, KDRV reports, the military states: "An official with the Oregon Military Department says if the charges are erroneous, Pfleider will be reimbursed and the billing will stop. If not, he will still be responsible for the charges."

The Shreveport Times reports that Maj Ronald Wayne Culver Jr., who died while serving in Iraq last month, will be remembered this morning in a funeral at the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium with burial services scheduled for this afternoon. Roderick Harrington (El Dorado News) adds, "Maj. Culver, 44, was serving his third deployment in Iraq as executive officer of the 2nd Squadron, 108th Calvary, Louisiana Army National Guard." And the nine a.m. ceremony has apparently taken place (early) and ended since Melody Brumble (Shreveport Times) has just filed a report on it noting:

Culver, a Shreveport native, graduated from Northwood High School in 1984 and earned an accounting degree from LSU-Shreveport in 1989. His 22-year career with the National Guard included a deployment during Operation Desert Storm and two deployments in Iraq. He responded to several state emergencies, including hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008.
About 300 people, ranging from Patriot Guard motorcyclists to faculty and staff who work with Culver's mother at North Highlands Elementary School in Shreveport, turned out for the ceremony.

This morning at North Dakota's Fargo VA Medical Center, US Senator Kent Conrad will be taking part in PTSD awareness event:
For many of our soldiers returning from war, the battle does not end when they come home. All too many veterans today face Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms like anxiety, anger, and depression as they try to adjust to life after war. We cannot sweep these problems under the rug. PTSD is real. More must be done to educate veterans, families and communities about this illness and the resources and treatments available to them.
I recently learned about the efforts of North Dakota National Guardsmen to draw attention to PTSD and pay tribute to Staff Sgt. Joe Biel, their friend and fellow member of the 164th Engineer Combat Battalion. Biel suffered from PTSD and took his life in April 2007 after returning to North Dakota following his second tour in Iraq.
The efforts of Sgt. Biel's friends to raise awareness of PTSD inspired me to draft a Senate Resolution declaring June 27 National PTSD Awareness Day. This campaign is all about awareness, assuring our troops -- both past and present -- that it's okay to come forward and say they need help. They need to know that it's a real sign of strength, not weakness, to seek assistance.
I will present Sgt. Biel's friends from the 164th Combat Engineer Battalion with a copy of the Senate Resolution on Wednesday, June 2, at the Fargo VA Medical Center. If you are in the area, I encourage you to join me in this effort to raise public awareness about PTSD.
Again, the event will be held Wednesday, June 2, at 10:00 am at Fargo VA Medical Center, 2101 Elm Street North in the UND Atrium.
I hope you can join us.

On the subject of PTSD, Ann Woolner (Bloomberg News) reports on Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient Jose Barco who is now serving fifty-two years in prison and Woolner notes:

The more intense the combat, the more likely the soldier is to suffer from the disorder. As many as 15 percent of combat troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan experience it, according to a Rand Corp. study and a Veterans’ Affairs report.
When the U.S. government needed more troops in Iraq, tours were extended, stateside breaks between deployments were shortened, and soldiers already battle-scarred were sent into some of the bloodiest, most unrelentingly scary work of the war.
So it was predictable that the need for mental-health services would spike when these troops started returning from the surge, announced in 2007. But when it came to staffing up with psychologists and psychiatrists, the military somehow never got enough boots on the ground.

The following community sites updated last night:

There are some things that really get on my nerves. Steve Inskeep's attempts at pith over the bumper music (which, on Morning Edition this morning, is a US third grader from the fifties thinking they socked it to Communism). Then there's the pathetic jerks supposedly on my side (the left) who are honestly an embarrassment to the world. The same whores who couldn't stay focused on Iraq can't stay focused on the Gulf -- in part because it's really time to call out Barack and whores don't know know how to stand up -- having spent so much time on their backs and knees. Don't send me another thing on Israel. I'm not interested in chasing the dog. I'm not interested in doing the SAME DAMN THING every other site's doing. We don't do that here, we never have. If everyone else is covering it, we're not interested. We cover Iraq here.

See the below.


The Gulf Disaster continues
. I'm sorry so many are so pathetic (Amy Goodman included) that they can't take seriously an environmental disaster that is both a crime and will have worldwide impact. I realize that all 'independent media' whores are nothing more than dogs. You bark a lot and when the ball gets tossed to the right, you run off over there, and when it's tossed to the left, you run off over there. You're incapable of focusing and have no independence of your own. You're led around by rings in your noses. Got it. Stop wasting this community's time with your Israel links. There are 72 e-mails asking for links to this Israel commentary. Not interested. Repeating, not interested. We'll go over this again in the next entry. Stop sending me this s**t.

Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Jef Feeley (Bloomberg) report, "Six of 12 active judges in the federal judicial district based in New Orleans have removed themselves from spill-damage cases filed by fishermen, property owners and coastal businesses, according to a court official and court records. The judges found conflicts tied to oil investments or personal relationships with lawyers or companies involved." It's amazing that in the US, the Gulf Disaster is wiped away from 'independent' media's radar due to Crazy Ass Cohen and the others desire to grab the torches and run through the village screaming "Israel!" Truly, get a grip.

The e-mail address for this site is

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends